The Showroom

Hubs and Fictions: On Current Art and Imported Remoteness

A book launch, roundtable conversation and screening

Tuesday 28 February 2017


An evening to celebrate the launch of Hubs and Fictions: On Current Art and Imported Remoteness, edited by Sophia Yadong Hao and Edgar Schmitz and published by Sternberg Press in November 2016.

Dr Andrea Phillips, Professor of Art and Head of Research at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, will be in conversation with the book's editors Sophia Yadong Hao and Edgar Schmitz to discuss the compromised status of the remote in a globally distributed art-world ecology.

The event will also preview a new film-fragment by Chinese filmmaker Zhao Dayong, with whom Schmitz is collaborating on a moving-image sequel to his exhibition in Shanghai in 2016, and will introduce some of the debates on imported nearness in fictions of the global contemporary they have staged together over the last 18 months.

Sophia Y. Hao is Curator of Cooper Gallery at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee in Scotland. Appropriating a rhizomatic approach, Hao positions the role of the curatorial as a mode of critical inquiry that engages with culture and the political as an open question. Recent projects include NOTES on a return, 2009, a re-contextualisation of performance art in 1980s’ Britain; A CUT A SCRATCH A SCORE, 2011 with Bruce McLean; Studio Jamming: Artists’ Collaborations in Scotland, 2014; CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland, 2015–2017, a four-phase programme in collaboration with organisations in China; Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event?, 2016–2017, that evokes the political ethos of feminism to reveal the urgency of alternative politics in culture and society.

Edgar Schmitz is an artist and Senior Lecturer in Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. He produces escapist backdrops from film, sculpture, animation and writing and his sub-cinematic clusters often act as portals from the galley space towards cinema. Recent exhibitions include sindanao2, Himalayas Museum, Shanghai; Surplus Cameo Decor, Cooper Gallery, Dundee; and extra added bonus material, FormContent, London. He has written extensively on contemporary art, and specifically on Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Phil Collins, on Brian Jungen’s animalities, and on humour in Deleuze and Slominski.

Dr Andrea Phillips is PARSE Professor of Art and Head of Research at the Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg. Andrea lectures and writes about the economic and social construction of publics within contemporary art, the manipulation of forms of participation and the potential of forms of political, architectural and social reorganisation within artistic and curatorial culture.

Zhao Dayong is a film maker. His films explore central themes of existential anxiety and spiritual bankruptcy in the face of a China that is rapidly transforming. His documentary films include Street Life and Ghost Town. His first fiction feature The High Life premiered at Hong Kong International Film Festival, 2010, winning both the FIPRESCI Award and the Silver Digital Award. The High Life made its European premiere at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival, 2010, where it won both the Werner Fassbinder Prize and the FIPRESCI Jury Prize. Zhao's second fiction feature Shadow Days premiered at the Berlinale in 2013, and was theatrically released in France in 2016.

Hubs and Fictions: On Current Art and Imported Remoteness with contributions by Tobias Berger, Guy Brett, Simon Groom, Sophia Yadong Hao, Lisa Le Feuvre, Ma Lin, Markus Miessen and Federica Bueti, Tom Morton, Vanessa Joan Müller, Wang Nanming, Paul O’Neill, Edgar Schmitz, Gemma Sharpe

Hubs and Fictions was originally a touring forum in 2012, which invited international curators, writers, and producers to probe how fiction plays out in a globally distributed art-world ecology, and how infrastructures are being invented against this background. The forum was staged at Cooper Gallery (Dundee), Baltic (Gateshead), Goldsmiths (London), and operated as a satellite event to Edgar Schmitz’s exhibition “Surplus Cameo Decor,” curated by Sophia Yadong Hao at Cooper Gallery.

The book functions as a deliberately discontinuous reader; it juxtaposes documents, negotiations, and reflections from and on these conversations. The publication also includes a preface by Andrea Phillips, a new image sequence by Schmitz, and a suite of reflexive annotations exchanged between Hao and Schmitz. Design by Marco Stout, Stout/Kramer.

Published by Sternberg Press.